Yggdra Union

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The Royal Army, prominently featuring the two leads, Yggdra and Milanor.

Even with the Holy Sword, things are going wrong. It may be true that the Holy Sword is sacred... but, that doesn't change the fact that it's just a weapon. Those who wield it are bound to deliver justice. We are bound to strike down the unjust. But, the Holy Sword is still a sword... It can only wound.
Princess Yggdra

Yggdra Union is a Turn-Based Strategy game which is part of Sting Entertainment's Dept. Heaven cycle. The Game Boy Advance and PSP Updated Rerelease were both handled in North America by Atlus.

Chronologically the first of the Dept. Heaven games, Yggdra Union takes place during a war between the Kingdom of Fantasinia and the New Bronquian Empire. Gulcasa, the Emperor, has just defeated most of the Royal Army and slain the king, but Princess Yggdra (the only surviving member of the Royal Family) escapes her captured city with her family's Ancestral Weapon and goes about gathering allies to take her country back—and get revenge. It doesn't hurt that said Ancestral Weapon, the Gran Centurio, is a national symbol of justice. Whatever Yggdra and her army do, it's obviously the right thing.

Isn't it?

Except that our heroes slowly discover that Emperor Gulcasa and his villainous minions are a bit more morally ambiguous than they first bargained for, and that everyone they fight seems to be fighting for the justice they believe in. And that maybe there's more going on across the continent than they could have imagined.

Yggdra Union, in short, is a deconstructionist game about war, ideals, and the true nature of "justice".

An interview with the game director and artists can be found here; be warned that there are spoilers up through the end of the PSP version. See also Yggdra Unison, the Alternate Universe cellphone/DS spinoff.

A prequel called Blaze Union concerning the events of the Bronquian revolution was released in May 2010.

Tropes used in Yggdra Union include:
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Gulcasa. This is played for all the tragedy it's worth when due to the Heroic RROD incident at the end of Chapter 5, he winds up too sick to take to the field even when the Royal Army starts to invade his country... everyone in the country willing to bear arms stands up to protect him, and is swiftly cut down. Although it's nowhere near to the same degree, Yggdra is also very popular with her people, which is remarked upon a few times early in the game.
  • Active Royalty: Played straight for both sides with Yggdra and Gulcasa.
  • Aerith and Bob: Mostly on the Aerith side of the spectrum, with only a few "normal" names like Russell, and Monica
  • Aesop Amnesia: Yggdra suffers this towards the end of the game; it's also prominent in two of the possible endings.
  • Ahoge: Averted: Yggdra and Nessiah each have one, though neither is a particularly silly character.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Leon, Zilva.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Gulcasa not only pulls it off in the prologue, he flattens the former Royal Army doing it. This is what essentially sets the main storyline in motion.
  • Amazon Brigade: Any unit led by a female.
    • Or certain Imperial divisions in general, like the Special Forces and Scarlet Riders.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Yggdra's Big Freaking Sword, Gran Centurio.
  • Anyone Can Die: And the majority of the cast does.
  • The Archer: Played straight with Elena and Zilva, but subverted in Mizer and Cruz, who are more childish characters.
  • Arc Words: "Justice lies with the Holy Sword", Chapters 1-3. "A ruler's duty to his/her people" and "There is no single absolute justice", Chapters 7-8.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Yggdra is a lot more powerful after her Awesome Moment of Crowning. On the other side, Gulcasa is That One Boss.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Yggdra has hers before the game actually ends, and thus spends the last third of it ridiculously overpowered.
  • Badass Army: The Imperial Army is what every Ragtag Bunch of Misfits wants to be when it grows up. By the end of the game, the Royal Army is on its way to becoming one, too.
  • Berserk Button: Gulcasa's is losing his allies and loved ones. After having said button hit enough times, he tries to use his own life to summon Brongaa and wipe the Royal Army out. Depending on the ending, he either comes dangerously close to succeeding or does, with tragic consequences for the entire world.
    • And if you don't believe us, have his (furiously shouted) response to Yggdra's request for a cease-fire directly after he learns of Emilia's death:

Gulcasa: Is that all you came here to say? What an arduous journey, for such a ridiculous request. Even were I to believe you, we would never accept your terms... We razed your Kingdom, and you have responded in kind. How are we to extinguish our flames of hatred now? This fighting cannot end until one of us can fight no more!

    • Kylier's is Yggdra. Or, well... Milanor acting friendly with Yggdra, to be precise. And Milanor never figures out why it makes Kylier go mental.
      • Her attitude is justified later on, since it turns out that Yggdra's ancestors were responsible for forcing Kylier's race to eke out a miserable living in Lost Aries.
  • Betty and Veronica: Yggdra and Kylier, in regards to Milanor. Reversed in that Kylier despite being the character with darker coloring is the Betty (she's Milanor's childhood friend), and Yggdra despite being the fair-haired character (and the heroine!) is the Veronica. Also subverted in that it's all in Kylier's head: Milanor doesn't have feelings for Yggdra.
  • Big Damn Heroine: Kylier.
  • Big No: There are quite a few of them, but the most notable are Luciana or Aegina screaming iyaaaaaaa when their sister dies and Milanor screaming Kylier's name until his voice cracks both prior to her Heroic Sacrifice and after the Shoot the Dog incident in Battlefield 46.
    • Say what you like about the English voice acting, but they were wise to cast an actor for Milanor who knows how to scream.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ending A, the canon one.
  • Blind Idiot Translation/Woolseyism: Atlus' localization of the game strays from the original script in a number of places. The translators owned up to changing one of Durant's lines in the tutorials because they felt it was an Out-of-Character Moment; some lines, such as Yggdra's "Solving swords with problems?" at the end of Chapter 8, do not exist in the Japanese script at all; the entirety of Gulcasa's characterization was altered, his diction made more formalized and haughty than in Japanese and a lot of his Pet the Dog moments (such as his marked reluctance to fight Elena in Chapter 5) removed. A number of the translations, such as Gulcasa's title ("Entei", or "Blazing Emperor") and the name of the war between the Royal Army and Asgard ("Shinkaisensou") were changed ("Emperor of Carnage") or just flat-out wrong ("Ragnarok"), creating a number of plot holes. Compare both language versions of any battlefield's dialogue and they probably won't match up too well. In all fairness to the English localization team, the schedule Atlus set up for the GBA localization left them very little time and the interface required a lot of heavy editing, as a lot of images required editing to replace the Japanese text with English, so they were most likely very rushed with production. However, most of the mistakes remain in the PSP version. Some people are very unhappy with this. Other fans could care less.
  • Bokukko: Emilia. Though, since she's the Princess of Bronquia, who's going to tell her not to?
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Wielded by Marietta.
  • Bowdlerization: Yggdra's "Crusade" attack was originally called "Jihad".
  • Breakable Items
  • Cassandra Truth: For those who made it to Ending D, Nessiah would like to inform you that he told you so.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Battlefield 49 shows Asgard to have this situation.
  • Chained by Fashion: Nessiah.
  • Christmas Cake: Mistel. Lampshaded: she gets furious when Milanor calls her "Obasan" (she technically won't qualify for two more years!), and she flirts heavily with Durant and Roswell (though, the last is likely due to the fact that her husband left her, and she's looking for a new one).
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pamela.
  • Costume Porn
  • Crap Saccharine World
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: The ankhs. Also the crosses seen at Lost Aries.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Of the extremely depressing variety, upon commencing the invasion of Bronquia.
  • Cute Bruiser: Emilia.
  • Cute Witch: Pamela. Rosary too, maybe.
  • Cutscene Boss: Despite all the misery she gives you, you can't kill Eudy with your own hands, and the battlefield where she presumably dies in is scripted.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Gulcasa and #367 each get one.
    • For Gulcasa, once he has become Brongaa's receptacle, overusing Brongaa's power can tax his body to a state of collapse. He puts himself in this condition towards the end of Battlefield 32, causing mass panic amongst his men as they try to defend him. Emilia eventually comes to rescue him just as he passes out.
    • And in #367's case, having her synchronization with her artificial Diviner enhanced demands more than her body is capable of, and so her Morale drops drastically every turn. She also starts speaking in a strained voice and is constantly panting heavily.

Mistel: Oh dear! I don't think your body can handle so much rage...

  • Decoy Protagonist: Taken to Beyond the Impossible levels. You start off playing as Milanor, who is set up as the hero with Yggdra in a traditional Damsel in Distress role. Two and a half battlefields later, Yggdra becomes the player character, and Milanor is firmly established as her Sidekick, losing nearly all plot significance except the ability to attract Kylier when the Royal Army has dug itself into a hole and the default commander seat when Yggdra is somewhere else. The game is explicitly about Yggdra's Character Development and growth as a ruler as she learns to balance hot-blooded idealism with compassion and an understanding of how the world works. Then the universe of episode II started expanding, a certain antagonist's backstory and true motivations got lots more attention, and Gulcasa made off with Yggdra's hero seat. On top of all this, the character in the episode II games who is the most important to the 'verse is none of the above: it's actually Nessiah, the antagonist, about which Word of God and the side materials are very clear. Up to Eleven, indeed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nessiah. He tends to get away with it in the Japanese because he's just so darn polite. The English script... not so much.
  • Deconstruction: Of The Empire, Tsundere, Omniscient Morality License and La Résistance.
  • Draconic Possession
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The battles against Marietta and #367.
    • In Marietta's case, this is a matter of letting your units endure one turn of vicious beating after another, until Marietta exhausts herself, and she can be finished off with one hit from Crusade.
    • For #367, this is similar, but more dangerous: her Morale decreases with every turn, but she actively attacks you. Then again, you can use (overpowered) Fanelia in this fight...
  • Dramatic Irony: Nessiah wants revenge on the gods, who disappeared at the end of Ragnarok. As said character wasn't around for the end of Ragnarok, there's no way for him to know this.
  • Dressing as the Enemy
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Gulcasa's title was changed from "Blazing Emperor" to "Emperor of Carnage" for the English version for whatever reason. This still makes some degree of sense: Fantasinia doesn't like him, so they wouldn't be calling him anything that sounds friendly, until you hear his people, who wholeheartedly adore him, calling him the same thing... and Theme Naming starts to show up when Imperial landmarks turn out to have fire-based names, which are also altered ("Gates of Carnage",[1] anyone?). Then it just starts sounding rather awkward. It will probably become a much bigger problem if Atlus ever localizes Blaze Union, where Gulcasa's fire motif is even more important.
  • Dying as Yourself: Gulcasa and Kylier.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In a subversion that can be downright heartbreaking, Nessiah has been trying to do this for centuries. He never gets one--probably because his methods tend to be less than ethical.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Emilia.
  • The Empire: Subverted so hard with Bronquia, which originally seems to fit this description to the letter. And then you find out that this is exactly what Fantasinia did. Bly specifically says at the end of Battlefield 14-II that Bronquia was the only independent country left--and he once advised Yggdra's father and grandfather to go ahead and conquer it while the people would still be grateful for having their dictator gotten rid of. Too bad Gulcasa beat Fantasinia to the punch. Not.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The barely-two-minute-long scene at the start of Battlefield 42 hands you everything you need to know to understand what kind of person Gulcasa really is.
  • Everything Is Better With Explosions
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Extreme Doormat: #367. Until she gets her Deadly Upgrade, at least...
  • Eye Scream: Elena makes Aegina do this in Map 28.
  • Eyes of Gold: Gulcasa and Emilia.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Ankh Cannon. The Ankhs themselves could possible render an area uninhabitable for many years, as lampshaded by some of the cast.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: There are a few countries like Embellia and Nyllard that don't have a distinct one, but most of the others do:
    • Fantasinia is representative of western Europe and America.
    • Verlaine is specifically tied to France--"Verlaine" comes from the name of a French poet, and Roswell's name is explicitly French.
    • The Vanir are reminiscent of Native Americans, particularly considering their relation to Fantasinia (and the name of their race). Most of them are dark-skinned (Milanor being an exception) to make it even more obvious.
    • Lombardia strongly resembles the historical role of the Holy Roman Empire.
    • As for Bronquia, their counterpart is Japan.
  • Fetish: Rosary is the only character to get a Morale boost from being given such items as shackles and blindfolds.
    • And then there's Roswell and his thing with bananas...
  • Field of Blades: The pictures on the Dragon Killer and Oblivious Dawn cards.
  • Foreshadowing: As it's part of Dept. Heaven (and is thus far the chronologically earliest game in The Verse), this is to be expected for the Metaplot. Additionally, ties very neatly into the Arc Words; in at least one case, some things that look like other tropes turn out to be rather excellent Foreshadowing.
    • Example: during the conquest of Embellia, Emeleone pulls a What the Hell, Hero? when she accuses Yggdra of using "justice" as a means to follow her own ends. As Yggdra has thus far spent the entire game alternately running for her life and saving townspeople from being murdered by raiders, and since Emeleone has been prosecuting a genocidal war against all neighboring human settlements to harvest their blood in retribution for one of the Undines being seduced into stealing the Transmigragem, this accusation doesn't yet have any reason to stick particularly well. Had Emeleone's taunt come later, it would have been disturbingly apt, however, since the invasion of Bronquia is like a larger, more tragic version of the Embellia arc.
  • Giggling (anti?)Villain: This is the sound of Nessiah's sanity being strained beyond its bounds. It manages to be both creepy as hell and pity-inspiring.
  • Godiva Hair
  • Go Out with a Smile: Gulcasa, Nessiah and Kylier (both times around).
  • Grey and Gray Morality
  • Guide Dang It: Just try to get all bonus items in each stage without a guide.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Imperial Army. So much. The only exceptions are Leon and Gulcasa after being possessed; all the others are explicitly portrayed as good people who just so happen to be fighting for a different cause.
  • Heroic Resolve: Every deployed unit gets this in Battlefield 42 after Kylier sacrifices herself to save them. Milanor is probably the best example of it though.
    • He does it again after she dies the second time, swearing vengeance on Nessiah. Ironically, this is after she talks about how sorry she feels for him and how despite what he did to her, she can't hate him for it. Even though, you know, she still wants them to stop him anyway.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kylier, because she's Too Tactically Useful To Live.
    • And, late in the game, almost EVERYONE in the Imperial Army... starting with Baldus.
      • Gulcasa might also be considered to have one, as his actions from Battlefield 18 are geared towards ensuring that he'll be able to call down Brongaa on the Royal Army's heads (BY KILLING HIMSELF) if the situation gets desperate enough. And boy does he try to.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: There's a fair amount of subtext between Zilva and Elena, none of which amounts to much due to Zilva dying. In addition to this, there was definitely something going on between Gulcasa and Nessiah according to Yggdra Unison and Blaze Union.
  • Honorifics: Yggdra and Elena always use them. Nessiah uses them for everyone but Gulcasa.
    • When Kylier calls Yggdra "Oujo-sama", the -sama is often written in katakana to show that she's being sarcastic.
    • The fact that Nessiah is the only character on good terms with Gulcasa who doesn't use some kind of suffix with him caused quite a few raised eyebrows, since First-Name Basis is a way of showing that two characters are very close. Certain fans likely had a field day with it. And according to Blaze Union, they were right.
      • Matters are not helped at all by the fact that Gulcasa doesn't use suffixes with Nessiah, either. Though Gulcasa hardly uses them with anyone.
    • After her Awesome Moment of Crowning, Yggdra insists that her troops keep calling her Princess (Yggdra-oujou) instead of Queen (Yggdra-ou). She'll only accept the title when the war is over, she says.
      • Gulcasa continues calling her -oujou to be rude. Well, she did just murder his fourteen-year-old little sister.
      • And, of course, Nessiah still calls her "Yggdra-ou".
  • Hot Springs Episode: One of the rare cases the North American version shows more than the Japanese.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Almost every Embellian Undine subscribes to this viewpoint, mainly because some jerk human stole their means of survival. They use this as their justification for attacking completely unrelated humans to try to use their blood for eternal youth potion. ...Which turns out to be exactly how Nessiah, who set up the theft and fed them information about said potion, was hoping they'd react. Also interesting to note is that for all the manipulating Nessiah did, none of it actually forced anyone to do anything evil. The Undines were tempted to use their loss as justification to vent their Fantastic Racism on humans, the Feuding Families in Verlaine were tempted to start a war over shiny toys, and Fantasinia and Bronquia were tempted to keep fighting, but in the end, it was always the rulers' own decisions that caused bloodshed, and if they had risen above the ugliness of human nature, everyone probably would have been fine (not to say that tempting them in the first place was a nice thing to do, as it wasn't).
  • Idiot Ball: The entire cast spends Battlefield 18 passing it around (see also the Just Bugs Me page).

Royal Army: Yeah, so Yggdra's raring to kill Gulcasa and all, but she'll be fine, let's let her do her own thing for a while!
Messenger: We found Gulcasa! I think we should tell the person who wants revenge the most, instead of everyone together!
Gulcasa: Sure it's weird for Nessiah to request to handle his plans by himself, but there's nothing suspicious about this, nope! I can totes trust him, we're tight like that. Let's go home, guys!
Nessiah: You all exist to make my life more difficult and I hate you. Instead of joining up with you lot so that you'll trust me and hand my sword over nicely when I ask at the end of the game, I think I shall kill myself so I don't have to deal with it. Have fun rescuing the princess, see you later!

    • Some of the forced-upon-you conflicts involve at least a minor game of Idiot Ball, such as the whole Snafu with Embellia.

Undines: Someone took our Ancient Artifact without which our race will die! Screw looking for it! Some dude, who couldn't possibly under any circumstances have anything to do with its disappearance, said we should go pillage our neighbors so we can use their blood to solve the problem... somehow.
Yggdra: The Undines are burning that city, and we just killed a bunch of them. Surely, they'll still honor their treaty obligations to join me in my fight against The Empire!
Durant: We don't need to travel through their base and the whole reason we came here was to find allies, there's no real reason why we can't just leave, we must kill them. We must kill them all until they are dead.

  • Idiot Hero: Subverted a bit with Milanor. He's actually quite intelligent tactically, but incredibly dumb about people. Especially girls.
  • Immortality Seeker: Pamela. Ironically, her quest for Immortality seems to have been inspired by her people's memories of Nessiah, the poster boy for Who Wants to Live Forever?.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Gulcasa is a Hero Antagonist until he goes and gets possessed, and by that point, there is no making him unsympathetic. As for Nessiah, he's just immensely screwed-up. As Yggdra Union is intensely anti-war, this is kind of the point.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Baldus. Also, at the very end of Chapter 8, the no-longer-possessed Gulcasa, who seems remarkably at peace with his defeat, considering.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Nessiah. According to Sting, he was originally a Wide-Eyed Idealist, but his treatment and ultimate punishment for being a pacifist in a time of war completely broke him, turning him into the revenge-obsessed Magnificent Bastard we see in the game.
  • Japanese Pronouns: The only way Nessiah ever speaks his actual age; despite always using polite Honorifics, he has a pronoun drop with characters who aren't in positions of authority (like Yggdra).
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Kylier actually has a fairly thick Kansai accent in the Japanese script (though this troper doesn't know enough to tell whether it's Osaka-ben or Kyoto-ben).
  • Keigo: Elena uses it. Lampshaded in that Milanor recognizes this as abnormal and tries (but fails) to get her to be less formal.
  • Kill It with Fire: Gulcasa loves doing this. For the Royal Army's version, there's the Flame card (which actually gets you Grilled Griffon and Dragon Steak if you kill a unit that rides each creature with said card).
  • Kick the Dog: It's heavily implied Nessiah was the one who seduced Nietzsche's sister, stole the Transmigragem and drove her to suicide. It's also implied he gave the ankhs to Roswell and Rosary starting their war.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Milanor. He is a thief. And goes around "liberating" goods from enemies and villagers alike...
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Gulcasa. See Berserk Button above.
    • This has actually been spoofed in a few of the gag 4koma and one-page comics in the Yggdra Union Comic Anthology book.
  • La Résistance
  • Lady of War: Yggdra and quite a few others.
  • Last Of Her Kind: Princess Yggdra.
    • Also Emperor Gulcasa; it's revealed in Battlefield 45 that he is the dragon Brongaa's last surviving descendant.
  • Leitmotif: Every character in the Royal Army has his or her own battle theme, as do Gulcasa, Nessiah, Aegina and Luciana, and Nana-chan. Other enemies just have generic music according to their rank. As of Blaze Union, pretty much everyone in the Imperial Army has their own battle theme as well, leaving Inzaghi as pretty much the only recurring character without his own theme.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Mizer becomes this in the PSP version.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Aegina and Luciana to Yggdra.
  • Loveable Rogue: Milanor.
  • Magi Babble: The most notable example is the tutorial sequence where Roswell explains how Ankhs work, although it comes up a few other times in the game.
  • Mai Nakahara: Yggdra's seiyuu.
  • Meaningful Name: Lost Aries. It was where Nessiah (then the Wide-Eyed Idealist Aries) was sent down to end the Great Sorcery War by obliterating every living thing there. This seems to have been a major part of his punishment for not fighting in Asgard's wars, and possibly what broke him for good. So named by the human world because Aries was supposed to have died there. They were right, just not the way they thought.
  • Mermaid Problem: Solved. The Undines live forever until killed and do not reproduce. How they came to be is a mystery.
    • So, what you mean to say is, they die when they are killed? What actually happens is that they are immortal due to a magic gem that revives them whenever they are killed for real.
  • The Messiah: Yggdra gradually becomes one over the course of the story. Nessiah also seems to have started out as one, although the idealism was tortured out of him a long time ago.
  • Multiple Endings: A Bittersweet Ending (canon), two variations of a Here We Go Again Downer Ending, and a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Gulcasa, the Emperor of Carnage? What a charming name! I wonder if he'll be my friend.
    • Worth noting is that his title in the Japanese script, 焔帝 ("Blazing Emperor"), is not quite as overtly sinister.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: What really puts the "bittersweet" in Ending A? If he'd been able to take his revenge, Nessiah would have killed the Dept. Heaven series villain, Hector, and ended a horribly corrupt heavenly system. This would have prevented the tragic scenarios of Knights in The Nightmare and Riviera: The Promised Land from ever happening, sparing entire other worlds from their suffering. Nice job breaking it, Yggdra.
    • Even worse? Word of God declares Nessiah's vendetta to be justified. Great work there, Royal Army.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Ironically, the female mermaid named "Nietzsche" is the only one who isn't this trope at all. In fact, the only insane people in the game are also the people who act sane.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game will PUNISH the player for playing poorly. To the point of becoming Unwinnable.
  • Norse Mythology: The original translation of the game had several references to it, like the names of certain items and the name of Kylier's race; the updated translation added a lot more of them, since by then Atlus had realized that Yggdra Union and Riviera: The Promised Land were part of one series. The story itself also contains a reference: the side materials explain that one of the antagonists once sacrificed an eye in exchange for knowledge, similar to Odin.
  • Not So Different: Yggdra and Gulcasa. Or Yggdra and Nessiah, for endings C and D. This becomes clearer when the heroes end up slaughtering an untrained civilian militia or raging against the heavens.
    • Also, Nessiah and the Magi from Asgard. In his attempt to gain vengeance, Nessiah becomes a lot like the Magi, manipulating countless people's lives for his own perception of justice.
    • Lampshaded in Battlefield 49. A lot, with irony, by multiple people.

Milanor: Lowly humans!? I don't think I like your attitude. What makes you so different from us?

  • Omake: The character designer, Kiyudzuki Satoko, wrote a series of fifteen 4koma entitled "Yggdra Universe" that are considered canon extras. There's a lot of Lampshade Hanging, and the 4koma also deal with a few series details that aren't brought up in-game.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Gulcasa, who tries to awaken the dragon Brongaa and burn everything to ashes.
    • Could also be just Brongaa, as he was possessing Gulcasa at the time.
  • One-Gender Race: Undines. They can't reproduce, although they can reincarnate through magic.
  • Our Angels Are Different, Our Dragons Are Different, Our Mermaids Are Different, oh my!
  • People Puppets: Nessiah's favorite way to mind-screw the Royal Army. The fact that it only works with people who have already died (i.e. Roswell or Rosary (whoever you killed) and Kylier) makes it all the more traumatic.
  • Plug N Play Friends: Two, Elena and Russell. The latter has an excuse though.
  • Poor Communication Kills: This is what you get when you have a pair of ultimately kind and idealistic, but very stubborn people leading opposing armies. Everything would have been settled much more quickly and with a lot less death if Gulcasa and Yggdra had just been willing to sit down and negotiate, but they're both too busy assuming that the other side is evil. In the end, this is just one of many ways that the whole world plays right into Nessiah's hands.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Gulcasa gives us the antiheroic version of this trope, in spades. His first confrontation with Milanor is nearly Crowning Moment of Awesome status, and definitely his Crowning Moment of Funny.

Milanor: So you're the big man around here, huh? Get ready!
Gulcasa: We haven't been introduced, so I'll think of you as "Prey".

    • Not to mention this line from the PSP version when he is about to unleash Genocide.

Gulcasa: ARE YOU READY?!

Most Japanese games that are based on some kind of mythology usually end up getting it wrong, but this is one of the most hilarious I've ever seen. Nietzsche (in real life) was a German philosopher who introduced the concept of nihilism. Nietzsche (in the game) is a cutesy little girl undine (mermaid) who pokes gently with her spear.

  • Sanity Slippage: Poor Nessiah...
  • Save the Princess: The plotline of Chapter 4.
  • Ship Tease: The game has two pairs of characters who are actually shown to be in love with each other. Two. It gets away with this by liberally dropping mild-to-moderate hints as to who the others may or may not have affections for.
  • Shoot the Dog: Battlefield 46.
  • Shorttank: Kylier.
  • Signature Colors: Used as an Identical Twin ID Tag: Aegina's favorite color is red, Luciana's favorite colors are black and blue.
  • Sinister Scythe: Gulcasa and Mistel, along with the Imperial Knights, use them. The impracticality is justified in Gulcasa's case; he wears padded gauntlets (take a good look at his art) and wields it from dragonback in order to get more force behind the blows. Mistel is a rare case of a farmer actually using a scythe rather than a pitchfork in combat; however, the design of her default scythe is very impractical for doing anything more than bludgeoning people and cutting grass.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Yggdra Union is one of those rare examples that starts out looking idealistic and then takes a turn for the cynical, plausibly.
  • Social Darwinist: Gulcasa is a mix of this and Blood Knight.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Royal Army, at the very end of the game. Though they Gilliganed the wrong person's scheme making them Hector's Unwitting Pawns...
  • Spoiler Opening: All the characters who join the Royal Army in Chapter 2 are shown, as are Cruz, Elena having shot Aegina's eye out, all the Dragon Generals, the sacking of Bardot, and even Nessiah's clearly angelic anima superimposed over him. It also rather blatantly hints at Nessiah's importance to the plot.
    • Subverted though in that there is an event portrayed inaccurately (in the OP, Marietta crowns Yggdra; Joachim does this in-game) and that the new characters in the PSP Version do not appear.
  • Staying Alive: Nessiah's particular brand of Immortality. Although he would really rather not.
  • The Stinger: Only in the PSP version's Battlefield 49. The game can end at Battlefield 48 with the Royal Army certain that Nessiah was the villain, and the world is saved, but if the Royal Army progresses, it's shown that Asgard is indeed up to no good, and is exploiting nameless test subjects to boot. Basically, Light Is Not Good.
    • Then there are the extra books Sting released on the game after the Updated Rerelease, which explain that half the reason Nessiah was thrown out of Asgard in the first place was for being a pacifist, of all things.
  • Summon Magic: Of the Western variety.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: A rather complex one. There's the Fire Emblem-standard sword-axe-lance triangle, and those weapons beat bows, which beat magic, which beat the sword-axe-lance triangle again.
    • Then there're scythes, which are strong against the sword-axe-lance triangle, and have no weakness. Guess what is Gulcasa's Weapon of Choice?
      • And even worse, you have to get the PSP version to get a scythe-user on your side.
      • Not entirely. If you pick up the Stray Dragon item (which WAS in the GBA version), you can equip it to Durant, which changes him to Scythe user. Only lasts 3 maps though. Too bad.
      • Gulcasa wearing you down? Rosary is essentially a huge cockblock... Gulcasa can't do much against her. Of course, she can't do much back.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Hahen and patria, which are technically the game's themes though they're only actually used for the radio show. Both are commonly considered to be Nessiah's Image Songs due to their content, and Hahen was also used to advertise Baroque.
  • Third Person Person: Nietzsche. This troper believes it's to remind you she's in no way like that other Nietzsche.
  • Tsundere: Kylier, especially when Yggdra's around. Eventually deconstructed.
  • Twin Switch: Subverted with Luciana and Aegina, as everyone but the Royal Army always knows which is which. And that they're even twins in the first place.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: The Trope Namer.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kylier initially appears to be this (perhaps because Milanor is the Idiot Hero and doesn't seem to know the first thing about women). Ironically (and tragically), Milanor realizes that he has feelings for her after she dies to save him. She'd have been the Victorious Childhood Friend if she'd only lived...
  • Unstoppable Rage: Yggdra displays this while chasing after and trying to kill the (already-injured!) Gulcasa in Battlefield 18. Of course, the Imperial Army uses the fact that she's not thinking to trap her and subdue her by force, so it can be considered subverted...
  • Unusual Ears: Gulcasa has jigokumimi, revealed in Battlefield 44 when he loses his helmet. Not surprisingly, we learn shortly after that he's the last living descendant of the dragon Brongaa. Made infinitely creepier because Brongaa is possessing him at the time.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Royal Army. And Nessiah was one too, back in the day. He did not take it well.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Medusa's Eye. You get no bonuses or experience, and the units just get in your way.
  • Waif Fu: As compared to stronger-looking magicians with accurately low attack value, tiny, apparently frail, Nessiah has a disproportionately high set of statistics and a overpowered weapon type and Skill, making him a rare male example. Of course, his excuse is that he's a fallen Grim Angel...
  • War Is Hell
  • Weapon of Choice
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Transmigragem is never brought up again except in Nietzsche's battle dialogue unless you find it.
  • What the Hell, Hero??: The heroes call themselves out on this when during the counter-invasion of Bronquia, the Royal Army massacres an untrained civilian militia, wiping out most of a town's population.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Nessiah. Even if he dies, he is painfully resurrected shortly after, depending on the power level of the Gran Centurio at the time: he actually introduces himself to the Royal Army by running himself through to remove himself from the war, only to show up eight battlefields later to tell them to get a move on. The Chains of Conviction do not allow him to die permanently, and we all know how much he wants them off.
    • As quoted in his special Skill, Reincarnation: Unable to live, unable to die... thy punishment is to repeat life eternally. Ouch.
  • Why Won't You Die?: The Royal Army's reaction to the way Gulcasa simply refuses to fall even after taking two to three severe beatings in rapid succession. Milanor in particular frustratedly demands to know how he's even still standing after so much blood loss and so many mortal wounds. The answer? Sheer willpower, though Gulcasa's abusing his demon blood can't have hurt.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: #367 and her camera-shy fellow test subjects. At least according to the High Servant.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Nessiah. SO MUCH. His entire twisted story just goes to show what The Messiah is capable of if you break him hard enough.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Nessiah gets one in Battlefield 47. Yggdra, who's in no mood to listen to him, actually counters with a simpler one of her own.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Nessiah is crazy good at it.
  • Yangire: #367, so very very much.
    • The scary part? The High Servant mentions that this is the sanest any test subject has ever been after having their synchronization rate forced above 100%.
  • You Are Number Six: #367, naturally.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Nessiah seems fond of this. When he's introduced in Battlefield 18, right before he kills himself to end his own Catch-22, he thanks his division for their service up until then, tells them apologetically that he doesn't need their help anymore, says "goodbye", and proceeds to wipe them from existence. He also says the exact quote in battle against several characters, among their ranks the mages of Verlaine and Yggdra.
  1. The name is even left as "Asura Gate" on the translated map.